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Kraken Exchange Review: Convenient platform for traders

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The Kraken platform is essentially among the oldest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market today. Since its inception in 2011, the platform has maintained a relatively remarkable record in providing crypto trading services to its clients, with minimal complaints. A new development for Kraken is relaunching trading support for Japanese cryptocurrency traders on 3 January 2022.

The exchange previously halted its services for the Japanese, citing the high cost of operating in the country, among others. However, the customers can now fund and trade up to five popularly-traded cryptos, as Kraken looks to expand into the APAC region.

Also Read:
• Kraken Vs Coinbase: What Crypto Exchange Is Suitable?

Back into spot trading for the Japanese crypto market

The development comes two years after the Kraken exchange left the Japanese market. At the time, the crypto exchange blamed the high cost of operation and planned to focus on the cost-friendly jurisdiction. However, it revealed plans to return to the Japanese market following the completion of the Crypto Asset Exchange Service Provider registration, precisely on September 8. 

About ten days after, the Kraken exchange announced that crypto traders in the country could begin creating and verifying their accounts. One might predict that the Kraken is making a return amid the booming Japanese market. Reportedly, there are over two million active traders in the country, and Japan is considered one of the largest crypto markets globally.

As of this writing, the Kraken crypto trading platform is home to over 50 cryptocurrencies. It provides advanced trading tools suitable for advanced users while maintaining a user-friendly interface to accommodate crypto newbies.

As a reputable cryptocurrency exchange, the platform aims to provide users with broader crypto trading options. Today, the platform offers both spot trading based on the current market prices and futures trading.

However, there are two versions of the Kraken exchange platform. The free version essentially charges exorbitant trading fees, while the pro version of the exchange is relatively cheap, allowing cryptocurrency traders to trade at low fees.

Overview

Even though the exchange was officially launched in 2013, Kraken has been a leading force in the blockchain industry since 2011. Founded by Jesse Powell, the company provides one of the leading exchange services by focusing on quality security mechanisms, low fees, and flexible funding options.

Based in San Francisco, Kraken provides a high-liquidity exchange with a significant following in Europe.

Kraken is a long-standing US exchange with a large order book and a variety of supported cryptocurrencies with advanced features such as OTC and margin trading; Kraken offers a convenient platform for new and professional traders alike.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, by February 2022, the Kraken platform offers over #116 coins on its platform and participates in 424 markets. The platform is ranked fourth, behind Binance, Coinbase, and FTX cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The rankings are based on the overall exchange score, and Kraken has an overall rating of 8.1.

The average 24-hour trading volume on the Kraken exchange platform is $865,978,522 and is essentially 13.29%. The decline in trading volume is attributed to the overall decline in cryptocurrency trading during the beginning of the year.

With an average liquidity rating of 742, according to Coinmarketcap, the platform is highly liquid therefore assuring investors.

Today, Kraken is one of the most established crypto exchanges in the market. Since its inception, the platform has withstood market turmoil and still strives to provide impeccable services to its users. Its impressive security features make it one of the safest platforms. As noted, more experienced crypto investors prefer specific Kraken features such as two-factor authentication and the ability to accept bank transfers.

The Kraken website currently employs a tiered fee schedule for its brokerage services, charging investors different trading fees according to their monthly trading volume. The trading platform charges more for low-volume traders and offers lucrative discounts to professional traders with larger trading volumes.

An exchange review is essential in covering the specific features of the platform and how it compares to others in the same category. Kraken platform has several unique features that set it apart from other cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It has a unique system of charging both maker and taker fees that differs from others. Arguably one of the most affordable trading platforms out there, below are some of the features of Kraken and how Kraken compares to other exchanges. 

What’s the Kraken exchange?

The current situation in the cryptocurrency market is that there are too many exchanges to keep track of. However, Jesse Powell launched Kraken in 2011, at a time when Mt. Gox was the only reputable exchange.  

Eight years later, Kraken does not only present the old guard of exchanges. The platform has been considerably developed over the past years, and albeit a US-based platform, Kraken is mainly used by users from Europe. The platform is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges available, and both new and experienced traders use it.

Kraken went through many funding rounds in the past years and is present in other locations like Canada and the United Kingdom. The exchange passed a long road, from its initial seed funding of $1.5 million in 2011, Kraken raised $100 million in February this year.

Supporting both fiat withdrawals and deposits, along with an excellent reputation and high-quality security mechanisms, Kraken is one of the best crypto exchanges in the sector.

Historical developments

Kraken has officially announced full support for DAI’s upgrade. The exchange has informed us that it fully supports this upgrade. Those who hold DAI on their wallets will not have to do anything, as customer funds will be updated automatically between November 19th and December 2nd.

Kraken expects most users to migrate to the new version and advises those who have DAI on their wallets and do not want to migrate to withdraw them by November 18th.

In fact, on this date, all DAI deposits and withdrawals will be suspended, and all DAI tokens deposited on their wallets will be migrated to the new version. 

DAI’s deposits and withdrawals will be reactivated at the end of the update, which will take place by December 2nd.

Since all the DAI on Kraken will be migrated to the new multi-collateralized version, the exchange invites not to send the SAI tokens to their wallets when the deposits are reopened because they will not be credited will not be possible to guarantee that the SAI sent can be recovered.

Features

Amassing almost a decade of experience, Kraken knows precisely what the average crypto trader needs, no matter his expertise. For this reason, Kraken has, like many other exchanges, created several user interfaces for the trading platform.

The exchange interface itself is split into three options:

  •  Simple
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Depending on how many complex and advanced tools you need, three designs are available. Traders entirely new to the cryptocurrency sector should start first with the ‘Simple’ interface. This option allows you to create either a market or a limit order.

The ‘Intermediate’ interface is a bit more complex, offering more advanced tools. Aside from the previous options, traders can also create timed orders and use leverage options.

Finally, the ‘Advanced’ interface combines all previous options, including more advanced features like significantly increased limit order options. The advanced interface also includes new types of orders for experienced traders.

Services offered

Traders keen to invest large sums can trade via Kraken’s OTC services. OTC trading is available for trades over $100k and can be done 1 on 1. Traders who more frequently use the OTC service are eligible for a dedicated account manager who can help traders manage their assets.

Kraken ensures that user funds are well guarded and secured by a list of mechanisms. The exchange claims that it has several experts that continually develop current security features. Besides security, Kraken is highly-compliant and keeps healthy relationships with banks and other financial institutions.

The platform prides itself on a ‘world-class’ security team consisting of professionals with years of experience. Kraken focuses on the following aspects:

Safe Coin Storage. Up to 95% of all user deposits are kept in offline wallets scattered all around the world. The cold wallets are always full, ensuring that traders can at all times withdraw their funds.

Platform Security. Kraken states that all data servers are stored in secured areas that have 24/7 surveillance with the help of video monitoring and armed guards. All interactions between servers and developers are strictly controlled and under constant review.

Penetration Testing. Technology companies often hire highly-paid penetration testers that check security flaws in various types of systems. The Kraken team tests all possible aspects of the platform that can potentially be hacked. Additionally, the platform offers bug bounty programs that incentivize the community to test the platform.

Information Security. The platform states that all private user data are stored safely and encrypted. User data can only be managed with special permission. Interaction with data is also strictly monitored to prevent possible malicious activities.

Based on their customers, Kraken offers significantly better fiat currencies. Their major fiat currencies include USD and EUR. The platform also accepts Canadian dollars (CAD) and the Japanese Yen (JPY), but their trading pairs are limited.

Deposits take on average one day to process but can take up to five business days if the exchange has a lot of activity. On the other hand, Withdrawals can take between one and five days, depending on the method. Both deposits and withdrawals can be made with wire and domestic transfers, SWIFT, and SEPA. All deposits and withdrawal fees are highly competitive on Kraken.

Fees

However, the fee system for withdrawing and depositing cryptocurrencies is trickier. In general, withdrawal fees for most cryptocurrencies are relatively low. Here is a list of cryptocurrencies with their respective fee system:

  • Bitcoin (0.0005 BTC withdrawal fee and free deposit)
  •  Ethereum (0.005 ETH withdrawal fee and frequently change (but small) deposit fee)
  • Tether (5 USDT withdrawal fee and free deposit)
  •  Litecoin (0.001 LTC withdrawal fee and free deposit)

Note that the fee model for cryptocurrencies is constantly changed and may change after writing. A variety of other popular assets have similar withdrawal fees and free deposits. As for trading fees, they are based on your monthly trading volume and are different for taker and maker type orders.

30- Day Volume (USD)

Maker

Taker

$0 – $50,000

0.16%

0.26%

$50,001 – $100,000

0.14%

0.24%

$100,001 – $250,000

0.12%

0.22%

$250,001 – $500,000

0.10%

0.20%

$500,001 – $1,000,000

0.08%

0.18%

$1,000,001 – $2,500,000

0.06%

0.16%

$2,500,001 – $5,000,000

0.04%

0.14%

$5,000,001 – $10,000,000

0.02%

0.12%

$10,000,000+

0.00%

0.10%

Recently, there has been concern about the safety on most exchange platforms and their ability to handle cryptocurrency deposits with diligence. As a result, more experienced traders have been asking for a credible financial institution or audit firm to perform auditing on the reserves of these exchange platforms.

Consequently, those who possess a digital wallet with Kraken can have a sigh of relief as reports indicate that they performed an audit of proof of reserves as of February 2022. Therefore, the advanced platform well known for spot trading, futures trading, and margin trading has passed the test.

Today, more professionals are adopting the Kraken platform, indicating an increase in both margin and futures trading. Despite the relatively low Karen fees, its recent news of successful proof of reserves assures users that the exchange holds reserves on up to $19 billion in Bitcoin and Ether is a massive boost to its global image and trust level.

Supported countries

Many crypto exchanges decide not to offer their services to countries lacking financial compliance or a partial regulatory system for cryptocurrencies. For example, Binance decided to ban the US and 28 other countries on their decentralized exchange (DEX).

Kraken is used by users from all parts of the world, with their primary customers coming from Europe. The only banned countries are North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Afghanistan, Japan, and Tajikistan.

While the exchange is based in the US, Kraken does not provide its services to American users from New York or Washington State. The reason behind this is that something is functioning in these areas.

For example, Kraken would require a BitLicense, issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), if it would want to serve citizens from New York.

Customer Support

Kraken had a bad reputation in terms of customer support in the past. However, the exchange decided to upgrade its platform by introducing new features to help users out.

Foremost, the exchange released a newly updated support guide that covered common FAQs. The newly released documents provided insight into every exchange process, from creating an account and going through the KYC process to trading guides and security measures.

Kraken has also decided to introduce 24/7 global live support. A newly created team consisting of ‘Client Engagement Specialists’ can be contacted at all times. The professional team has in-depth knowledge of financial services and the cryptocurrency sector. According to the official website, a part of the staff works on significant holidays. The platform has a ticketing system and a 24/7 live chat.

However, traders should expect a few problems with contact live support on most crypto exchanges. Trading cryptocurrencies is a delicate process and requires a detailed review process. While many in the community complain that exchange platforms do not provide the quality support that some other types of services do, we cannot seriously expect exchanges to reply as quickly due to highly-technical processes in the crypto sector.

While the live chat can be contacted at all times, customer support tends to fare a bit slow in periods where trades rampantly withdraw and deposit their assets.

Comparison with other exchanges

All cryptocurrency exchanges are pretty similar in how they provide their services. However, Kraken is noticeably similar to Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange based in San Francisco, California.

Founded by Brian Armstrong, Coinbase has several features similar to Kraken. Both exchanges provide the same services and have an equally low fee system. The only notable difference between them is that Coinbase restricts its deposits, withdrawals, and trading to a limited number of countries. Most functions on the platform are only available for 32 countries.

One more significant difference is that Coinbase has a smaller list of supported cryptocurrencies. Some in the crypto community are also wary that Coinbase may report trading activities from users to various institutions. On the other hand, Kraken is known for being the best option if a trader wants to remain anonymous and not be contacted by the IRS.

A market order is a particular type that allows you to buy or sell digital assets at the current market price. These kinds of orders are often executed immediately with no delay. On the other hand, a limit order allows a cryptocurrency trader to set the prices as per their wish. When you set a price you wish to buy a specific digital token, your limit order will be filled automatically when the price targets are reached. 

Conclusion

Kraken is one of the most popular exchanges in the cryptocurrency sector. Most traders from Europe tend to trade on the exchange as it is easy to go through the KYC process, but the more important feature is that Kraken offers a lot of crypto/EUR trading pairs and has high liquidity.

Renowned for not sending trading data to financial institutions that keep track of taxes, Kraken is praised by traders worldwide. With almost 10 years of experience in the crypto sector, Kraken knows precisely what features to provide and in what way.

However, Kraken is extremely limited regarding the number of assets they have listed. Other significant exchanges offer a significantly higher number of trading pairs. For example, Binance has around 500 trading pairs and constantly offers events to reward users for participating. Compared to Binance, Kraken lacks an IEO listing feature, where traders can vote on which new crypto project gets funded and listed.

Overall, Kraken is a great exchange option if you favor the following:

  • Great long-standing reputation
  • High liquidity
  •  High-quality customer support
  • Low chance of trading data disclosure to financial institutions

FAQs about Kraken

Is Kraken safe and legit?

The Kraken platform has proven to be a safe exchange for cryptocurrency holders and traders. Notably, the platform has been in existence for over a decade and withstood the security challenges often faced by exchanges. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that Kraken is safe and legit.

Is my money safe with Kraken 2022?

Often traders look for a different currency pair to trade with. The Kraken platform offers a wide range of these trading pairs in a secure platform with advanced security features. Therefore, investors should not worry about the safety of their money trading on Kraken.

Is Kraken better than Binance?

Depending on your preferences and area of residence, either of these exchanges can be suitable for your needs. Kraken, however, has a limited number of trading pairs compared to binance exchange.

Is Kraken better than Coinbase?

Coinbase is quite limited when compared to Kraken. Essentially Kraken offers more cryptocurrencies and trading pairs and has minimal geographical restrictions. Essentially Kraken has a global audience, while Coibase restricts its services to a few selected countries.

Shawn Du'Mmett

Shawn Du'Mmett

Former IT development and consultant, remote team and collaboration expert, PM, CCO, writer, dreamer, idealist looking to collaborate with global teams on a global teal/turquoise organisation. Shawn's dream is working together openly, to get what writers need and want, and to solve biggest global problems. He is building a collaboration system from the start that everyone can own and define, allowing them to work together, to decide how it works and to their highest ideals.

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